Somethin' Pumpkin: Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies

Here's to week two of pumpkin goodness!

This one is of my own design. CVS had a sale on pumpkin spice Hershey kisses {LOVE them} so I bought a couple of bags for this recipe. I was inspired from a recipe that asked for chai spice. We being Mormon, I decided to cut out the chai and replace it with cinnamon while adjusting a few of the other ingredients. Helpful hint I learned by doing: Remove the cookies ASAP from the cookie sheet or they'll look funny, like some of mine :)

Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 - 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 bag pumpkin spice Hershey’s Kisses - {Find in September onward at CVS, Walgreen's, Target}

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and cream at medium speed until fluffy, or with a hand mixer, for about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg, cinnamon,  and vanilla; mix until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as necessary. {If needed, add 1 T water to mix better}
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
Roll the dough into 1 inch round balls. Place the dough balls on parchment paper lined baking sheets, or a nonstick baking pan, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice or powdered sugar lightly over cookies if desired.
Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap kisses.
Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately place pumpkin kisses in the center of each cookie. Don’t touch or the kisses will turn into puddles! Remove immediately from cookie sheet onto a cooling rack. Cool completely.


Pumpkin Wreath Giveaway

My friend Daryl over at Roots, Wings, and Other Things is sponsoring me in a giveaway this week. Go here {http://thoserootsandwings.blogspot.de/2012/09/fall-home-decor-giveaway-with-firenzi.html} to enter to win a pumpkin wreath, or here {http://firenzi.etsy.com} to buy one :)


Nostalgia: Unity

As time passes and everyone's life paths change, I've had a few thoughts that continue to hover in my mind and need a canvas.

- I'm really not a debater, and I think that makes me better (compared only to my previous self). Instead of sputtering for things to toss back into play with those I come across in life who flaunt negativity like it's the latest thing, I find the greatest peace and solidarity through holding my own truths in how I live my life. I especially love that when hardships come, many like me stand for truth in a meek and humble way. It feels good. This is hard to see when so much junk is posted on Facebook. I now only post positive affirmations and skim any loaded language in the news feed.
- We know that time causes everyone to grow apart if they don't maintain face-to-face contact. I can say that my high school friends whom I don't talk to much at all anymore are good people. Some may be associated with things I don't agree with, and even have randomly "unfriended" me in the past for my life decisions or because we're just not talking; but I wish them happiness and have good feelings when I see them post about happenings in their lives. Sure, people change and move in and out of our lives; but I don't get why some choose to have a negative twist, like this:

Awhile back, I posted a comment on a photo, referencing something I'd made because I thought the acquaintance would appreciate the idea. Instead they became defensive, which made me wonder: when did our relationship ever become a competitive one? Did I make them feel as if they had to prove something to me? This barrier appeared there. It felt like unnecessarily awkward tension jumped in.

This thought process reaffirmed something to me about when I started my Etsy store: I don't give two hoots if anyone buys my crafts. I make them for fun and because I like them. If I have buyers who share my taste, it's all the more fun. I extend this to life: I'm no longer doing something if it would make me unhappy. Everything I do, I do with my heart and dreams in mind.

Ah well. Maybe it's because how my direct relationship with this person changed because of others' decisions, but it's strange how people let one dynamic interfere with unity. Let's stop talking the talk if we aren't committed to walking the walk of commonality and love for our neighbors. To say this in a better way, "Walk with me."


Somethin' Pumpkin: Pumpkin Better-Than-[you-know-what] Cake

I'm a big pumpkin fan. I've also converted my husband to be one. So when I found this recipe (amongst many others for pumpkin desserts), I had to try it. It sounded too good to be true, but it wasn't. It is OH SO GOOD. I suggest adding pumpkin pie spice for more of that pumpkin taste.

Pumpkin Better Than [you-know-what] Cake.
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 small can pumpkin puree (14 oz I believe)
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 - 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 - 8 oz. tub cool whip
  • 1/2 bag Heath Bits
  • Caramel Sundae Sauce (I didn't use this and it still turned out amazing)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix as instructed on box, and add pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree until a smooth batter forms.
  2. Pour batter into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350ยบ according to the directions for a 9x13 cake on the cake mix box.
  3. Let cool for about 10 minutes after baking. Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake.
  4. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, filling the holes. Make sure your pan is cooled before you refrigerate for 30 minutes, or you may crack the pan.
  5. Spread the cool whip over top of cake. Sprinkle on the heath bits, and drizzle caramel over top. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight (best).
Refrigerating the sweetened condensed milk after it has been poured over the cake is so. essential. and so good! Keep it refrigerated before serving, it tastes best cooled.

This fall, I'll be baking somethin' pumpkin every week to share. Yup. Get ready to expand that waistline! ;)


The Secret, Et-cetera

Firstly: PUMPKIN. YES.

The less time I'm online, the happier I am. Which is fantastic. It also makes the time I -am- online more productive. I can tell immediately when I'm idling the time away, so I get up and go do something else.

This past month, my Etsy store has picked up! Here are a few new things that I've already had sales on, which I had a lot of fun making and use them in my own house/on my doggies until they're sold :) I'm amazed at how quickly people found and ordered the fabric banners.

Custom order tri-pattern baby shower banner

Meant for Halloween; someone ordered one for a Halloween-themed baby shower


Another baby shower order


- Went to an Angels baseball game with our friends Robert and Justina. We love them. And their openness to inviting us to the game to share in their work perks is a plus. We will endure another game with you -any-time.
- Went to Nevada for a few days so Michael's dad could make some progress on his properties and stuff up north, to see my grandma, and to get away. It was perfect weather and I loved the time there. Sitting on the back patio at dawn and dusk was so peaceful. I also hadn't seen my granny in over a year, so it was good.

Maya insists on riding shotgun during road trips. To the point of exhaustion.
Harley loves to sunbathe.
View from the back patio

- We ate at Bagels & Brew, a local eatery a mile from our house, for breakfast. mmm. Denver omelette. I love local eateries like this.

- Just this past weekend, we went to Simi to celebrate my Mom's birthday and hang out with my sister who flew down from Sac airport. Mike's Dad was amazing and got us all tickets to see Bella Donna, a Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks tribute band , at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. It was fun. People-watching was WAY fun.

Here is some cuteness.

Lastly: I'm reading The Secret and beginning to truly implement it in my life. Mike has been too. And guess what? It really works. Your life is what you make of it. I told myself "I can get a sub job whenever I want." Lately, that's been every day because I'm excited to get back into work. So guess who has booked up to a week of jobs already? This girl. Mike has an amazing job. We are truly rich and blessed with what we need.